tv [untitled] November 17, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PST
it was just cresting. in looking at the damages, the general is explaining how many homes and businesses were damaged. in sort of a side mentioned we've really done a good job and haven't lost any lives and working hard, and we saved the school and did this and did that. later i went and talked to the mayor and governor and police, fire, e.m.s. folks and chiefs and command staffs and a lot of people that had been working on fighting the flood in north dakota for literally -- much longer, but this part of it for two weeks. and sometimes i think we miss things and we forget things. but for total devastation, they did not lose one life. that is incredible.
if you can view the damage that happened there. and the reason that is, is because they prepared. they took the time. they were exhausted. but they saved lives. devastating, it will take years to rebuild which but it makes a difference that they took time to prepare. it saved lives. here, what struck me a lot about reading about loma prieta was how the community came together. how people in the faith-based initiative community and non-profits and if public in general and private sector worked to get the community back together. to recover. i mentioned i was in joplin moreless right after it
happened and ied that opportunity to go back just two weeks ago and to see that the devastation, which was seven miles long, 3/4 of a mile wide and nothing left standing except a little bit of the hospital. all the debris is gone in four months. the high school opened on time in august. they rebuilt the high school. albeit in a mall in 55 days. that the high school is open and the kids went back to school. that was done a little bit -- fema wrote a check and brought some people in to help out, but it was the leadership and the dedication of the school superintendent, the city manager, the students, the parents. the community that helped raise some money, but more
importantly, the community that got behind folks to help design as the secretary of education who actually said it was a state of the art high school that would put almost any high school in to shame that they designed in 55 days. tells you something about taking years to design. 55 days they designed a state of the art high school. it's about communities coming together. in joplin, so much of it able to bring together the faith-based community. the southern baptist cooking food for 50,000 people that was then delivered by the red cross to a salvation army shelter that was served by men nice and cleaned up by muslims. with no government involvement. that's whole community.
that's what it's going to take to recover from these. a lot of times people start thinking about recovery. people start thinking about it as soon as the response starts happening. some start thinking about it as soon as the response is over. that's not the time to think about the recovery. the time to think about recovery is now. one of the things we have thought about is the national disaster's recovery frame work. we work ackry thems. ackry nelms. with the ndrf. it lays out forward how we need to recover from disasters. we are going to be going around the country.
we went around initially. now we're going to go around again laying it out. still i want to get feedback from folks how to best do that. it's not going to take just government but the exact same people it takes us in a response. all the people that i mentioned. they are the same people and more that's going to be necessary it's going to be absolutely essential for us to bring all parties together to help recover, because it's important for us to remember why we're there. for the survivor. a lot of times people, a couple of years ago, myself included. used to call people victims. they were victims of a car crash. victims of a flood. victims of an earthquake. victims of having a heart
attack. but when you think about it, and you change that around a bit, and instead of calling somebody a victim, they are a survivor. survivor versus victim. just calling somebody that. it makes a huge difference. i can speak from personal experience what a difference zwhraust terminology makes. so i mentioned a lot of people and how important it is to be part of a team. but the most important part of the team is the survivors and the public at large. by far, not even close everybody else is important. but the survivors and the public have to be the most important part of the team. they have to be involved in taking care of themselves, taking care of their community.
neighbors helping neighbors. i saw it on tv 22 years ago. i saw it -- i see it each and every day. if you look, you see it everywhere. it's important for us to let the public know that it's not only necessary for them to be part of the team, but it's important for their survival, in the community survival for them to make sure that for us to let them know that it's ok to help others during disasters. not to put they musts in danger, but it's ok to help out the disaster. for years we gave the impressions that -- i'll speak for fema. we're going to be there. we're going to help.
we're not going to be there right away. we'll be there as quickly as we can. and initially, the true heroes in response, as we saw in tusk louisa and saw in newark, new jersey, recently. saw in upstate new york and vermont are the first responders. the police officers, the paramedics, the e.m.t.'s and nurses and doctors and neighbors helping neighbors. talked to a woman in tennessee last year during the floods in nashville, and it was this home that was completely flooded. actually it was a week later, and it was being mucked out or cleaned out by again, lutherans and another, i forget the other name of the other faith-based group.
there were two groups cleaning up her front home and she's sitting out this 86-year-old woman saying all these nice people are helping me clean out literally what's left of their home and she said i wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for my neighbor that broke my front window out and pulled me out and saved her life. he was a nice young man, a 63-year-old neighbor, the nice young man that saved her life. [laughter] >> but it's neighbors helping neighbors. those are the heroes. those are the people that we need to make sure that they are part of our team as we plan to go forward, not just for response but for recovery as well. it's really important that we look, i think, from fema, at
some of the great lessons that have been learned here in san francisco. i can tell you now, you know, we heard about what public television is doing. and that's absolutely key. but as we move forward, the idea of social media and how we communicate with folks, i will say san francisco is very much at the leading edge for what's happening, whether it's san francisco heroes. has anybody not looked at that website yet? if you haven't, please do. it's great. i tried it this weekend. it's very good. in fact, as i mentioned, some of us may steal that. but it's a great stool. -- but it's a great tool. the things that happen at the local level are the most important. i'm under no illusions that the
best idea come out of that beltway inside d.c. in fact in my two years there, i can't think of too many good ideas that have come out of that area of d.c. it's important to really look and listen to what happens in the community, because that's the most important. as i started out saying, these are not new ideas, new concepts for craig and myself and how craig operated in that place in florida, wherever that operated, and what we admitted boston and what you're doing here in san francisco. it's about bringing people together. and after us talking about a year or so they said well, you have got call it something. it's really neighbors helping neighbors. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you rich for being here with us today to commemorate this important event in san francisco history and for sharing with us fema's view of the private sector. it's very much appreciated. as a private sectorly asia zon, i'd also like to recognize and say to our partners in the non-profit faith-based in the neighborhood and business communities for all their efforts and for joining us here at this event this morning. at this time i'd like to invite our panelists for the next segment to join us up on the stage. when we began thinking about today's panel and the topic of whole community. essentially crossing sectors and breaking down silos, i thought immediately to ask my friend and colleague paul jackson to moderate this discussion. aside from more than 20 years experience, i worked with all
in engaging in non-profit faith-based communities and more recently with the private sector as we worked on volunteer management for the bay area. in addition to his consulting work he advises the citizen's voice and i'll leave it to paul to introduce our experts today and i would like to remind you we are filming this session so when the q & a does start please step to the mike so we can hear you on tape. so without further adieu, my friend, paul jackson. [applause] >> thank you. how are we doing on time? so we don't have to rush? talk really snast well, i understand how great this is today. it's always a pleasure to come down to san francisco. i am a native born san fran
ciscan. where was i? i was in san francisco with a state bureaucrat and having a meeting when the lights started to shake. we knew something was going on when all the lights on our earthquake board started to go off and we knew something was going on and the phones started ringing and we didn't see operations until a long time afterwards. >> it's great seeing a lot of folks in the audience i worked with on the loma prieta recovery and i think it's wonderful, fema's emphasize -- emphasis and their whole approach to whole community management. i think this has been an incubator for many of the approaches that underlie this very important concept. it was no accident that --
remember project exact? how many of you guys remember that? 1989 7. right? in 1989 7 many of the same ideas were previous lent focusing on community resilience and with three project impacts in oakland, berkeley and also san leandro. they were eager participants. a lot of those partnerships i think still exist today. i want to flash back a little bit. kind of set the stage for this panel. as most of you all know, how many of you guys were here during loma prieta? good. so you guys know this was a huge event for this bay area region. it had a huge geographic imprint and affected a whole lot of different types of communities. urban, as you were suburban and rural. for me being a young recovery worker, it was quite amazing
how many different kinds of issues about $10 billion and i remember years ago it was six and seven and now we say it was about $10 billion in terms of insured sand underinsured losses. there were major issues specifically for folks who lived in multifamily structures. there were donations from management, government coordination with non-profit organizations and access and functional needs and also the efficiency of government-run systems and programs. i have to say at the state level there was a lot of energy in those days. in order to meet the needs of the communities and survivors, you know, the legislature met and actually passed about 37 bills.
isn't that amazing? 37 bills to address loma prieta relief issues. these bills covered a lot of territories the time. there was an expansion of our public assistance program to cover 100%. to provide 100% funding for damages to government agencies and expanded el jabilty for projects and a project that provided funds for both resident denial housing and rental units. there was a bill that created the gap loan program for small businesses. there was a lot of activity in terms of providing tax relief for individuals and businesses that were affected and most notably, of course in sales tax for 13 months it raised about
$1 billion ultimately use topped firned those -- when i think back now and when i was thinking about what i wanted to say about this event, i was thinking dwhroon the -- thinking about what to say, i was thinking they couldn't do that today. even with those efforts that were taken by the legislature and at the state and federal levels, and the federal government provided -- almost $1 million from fema. i think altogether there was $3 billion in action put together by congress and other businesses so there were a lot of state and federal things came together. but it became clear that a lot more needed to be done to generate rebuilding on this
scale. and the private sector and government secondors to meet needs otherwise not met. we have a great panel of speakers this morning who are leaders and represent different geographic areas that were affected by the loma prieta earthquake and folks on the front line helping their community. s -- helping their communities. and to plan working together. first up is barbra garcia. i first became aquainted with barbra and her work when she was the director of a health clinic that provided services to folks in the watsonville area. she was creative in administering needs to the farming community. this was a group that wouldn't
initially qualify for a lot of main stream programs. so we were able to provide assistance to them. after the earthquake barbra continued to be involved in the process of rebuilding the watsonville community, particularly focusing on the health and well being of the community. the red cross and other clinics throughout rural california. as the public health director and previous health director she is conducting a -- an intense -- and housing. barbra will work with the needs and services and the aftermath of the earthquake and beyond. barbra?
>> good morning. the loma prieta earthquake was probably a redefining of my career in 1989. i learned through crisis, it can create opportunity and conflict can bring collaboration and even friendship. and i was about -- i lived about five miles away from the epicenter of the loma prieta earthquake and our clinic was about seven miles from the epicenter. loma prieta means dark mountain. and we would always say during the earthquake we were kind of on the dark side of the mountain. san francisco did an incredible job but to give you a little bit of background to the city. i think this experience also brought me to city government. i had worked in the non-profit field for over 25 years. the city of watsonville was not prepared to communicate with the 60% spanish-speaking
community. the city was in a political conflict with its mexican-american leadership ruling by the supreme court to go from citywide elections to city elections that were to occur three weeks after the earthquake with the hope of its electing their first latino councilmember in years. neither the county nor city had a strong relationship with the spanish-community organization and after the hospital and the foundation was damaged, our county health department headquarters was about 14 miles away and we quickly knew that we were on our own. and our clinic staff right after the earthquake continued to provide medical services right across the street at a plaza right in the park. and a fire captain coming by saw what we were doing and provided me with a radio. thank you, chief.
that i used to -- i did a little bit of radio work when i was a ranger and i heard what they were asking for so i took this radio from the police -- from the fire department and listened all night to hear that they were asking for things so i thought wow. this would be great. so i asked for a generator and a large stadium light and extension cords. this allowed us to provide services for the next 24 hours. for the next seven days since we knew the hospital was in and out of service. well, the next day after i had been calling for things, because i started asking for fuel for the generator and water the city officials came and took my radio away and said because we are not officially part of the e.o.c. i didn't know what the e.o.c. was so that's when i knew we were on our own and since then watsonville has elected over
five latino mayors and council members. the response recovery and recovery relationship needs start now not after disasters as i learned when i tried get re'em bursement. i was denied three times. paul worked on that until the state did. because i did not have a -- with the city to provide those services. so i made it a point that all of our community-based organizations have contracts with us vand m.o.u.'s with us to provide. and they are all disaster workers. managing disaster response donations and items and goods should be planned before to take advantage of the goodwill of individuals and communities and businesses to help with the
response and recovery process, our company learned well that we were going to do dwop our own program. we were able to use this for grants for home repairs. if any of you have seen the pictures, all the houses looked like they leaned in to each other. we lost thousands of foundations. we repaired 1,000 water heerts and -- heaters and other home repairs. we had donations to give to needy families. the city of watsonville was not prepared for donations and at the freeway entrances, the police at the freeway entrances basically telling trucks to go away because it did not have the capacity to manage donation s. how we managed our donations, especially, was we basically
sent out -- we had all these campaigns going on for the voters. we took the campaign workers and made them into disaster workers and had them go out to do needs assessments for families and then from there we were able to meet carpenters, meet with housing and we were able to basically find people who wanted to volunteer and found people who wanted the services. recover begins with disaster response so city and county involvement with small businesses, nonprofits are essential and it was talked a lot about that and talked about are the fact that we were all on our own. i saw one county person about five days after the disaster. and yet we were still providing services for over -- ended up basically continuing to provide medical services. and then as people -- food banks came back up, we were able to stop our food service. as the salvation army began doing some more of the services, we were able to drop
some of the services we were doing but that was after coordinated efforts wall of the community-based organizations. and any of the time i have been talking in san francisco about disaster preparedness and what we saw in watsonville was that the first night of the -- after the earthquake we found over 3,000 people in parks and open space and we ended up with thousands of people continuing to be in parks and open space for months ahead -- after the earthquake. and so in a concentrated place like san francisco with the housing shortage i'm always pressed to tell people to learn how to shelter people for a long period of time, how to deal with the fact that -- especially in san francisco, at least in watsonville people were living in their back yards and front yards for months at a time. here in san francisco we do not have that luxury so open space will be prime housing for a period of time. we also work with an international community and like in watsonville we had a
very difficult time convincing people to come out from the shelter -- from the open space into the shelters because we had thousands of aftershocks and people knew because they lived in other countries that buildings would be -- are the major killers and they did not want to come back into any shelter. so it took us a long time to convince people that the shelters were safe. and lastly, i think what's important is defining what milestones recovery would be achieved after a disaster, we should do that now because it helps with expectations of our communities like the essential priorities, what government functions will happen in the recovery process, what nonprocess groups like food banks, mental health clinics, when we hit and they become active, that's a milestone of recovery rand businesses. i think about the time that we had to talk to the red cross and the kind of food they were providing and the mobile trucks
that they had and trying to convince them that maybe hiring some of the local restaurants in the community would be a much better idea. and which they did. and it reminds me of off-the-grid kind of restaurants that we have in san francisco. those would be in excellent position to be able to provide food ethnically specific food for communities around the city and provide the opportunity for the ability for these businesses to be able to survive. you won't believe the billion-dollar industry there is in response, and if we can keep the billion dollars -- because there are organizations around -- and businesses around the country who make money off disasters. trying to move that back in the community to a local level so that our local businesses are disaster responders that can help them in the recovery process is very essential. thank you very much for your time. [applause]